Chinese chamber showcases its role in S'pore's history

President Tan (second from left) with (from left) SCCCI president Thomas Chua, vice-president Wu Hsioh Kwang and honorary council member Seow Choke Meng at the exhibition yesterday.
President Tan (second from left) with SCCCI president Thomas Chua (from left), vice-president Wu Hsioh Kwang and honorary council member Seow Choke Meng at the exhibition yesterday.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

THE address, 47, Hill Street, might not ring a bell with many.

But for more than 100 years, it has been the home of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI).

Since 1911, the movers and shakers of the Chinese business community have met here to form alliances, share ideas and foment ways to advance the interests of the Chinese community.

This year, the "oldest and most established ethnic chamber of commerce in Singapore", said President Tony Tan Keng Yam, celebrates its role in Singapore's history with a show and exhibition named 47 Hill Street.

Despite the name, however, it is less a showcase of the SCCCI and more a celebration of the Singapore story. Familiar chapters from the nation's history have been brought to life in an immersive multimedia show now on till September.

Dr Tan said that the "hard work, fortitude, dedication to society, and selfless giving" of Chinese business pioneers contributed to the building of Singapore.

"(The exhibition and show) will serve to educate and inspire all Singaporeans, especially our younger generations, to continue to do our part for Singapore and the community," he added.

The 20-minute show and panel exhibition cost about $1.5 million and took a year to complete.

Up to 1,000 photographs and materials from various sources, including the National Archives and Singapore Press Holdings, were used to create a flowing narrative. Other key partners in the project were the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall and the National Heritage Board. Seven sets of informative panels depict SCCCI's contributions to Singapore in areas like education, culture, community and the economy, and the chamber's role in key events like World War II and the introduction of national service.

SCCCI president Thomas Chua said Singapore's future is the future of the chamber.

"Using history as a mirror, we can see rise and fall; using people as a mirror, we can understand gain and loss," he added, citing a Chinese saying.

The exhibition and show held at the Singapore Flyer will be open to the public till September. About 20 volunteers will help lead tours through the exhibition.

The show will be screened six times a day, alternating between English and Chinese versions, with an extra evening English session on weekends. Admission is free.

teezhuo@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2015, with the headline 'Chinese chamber showcases its role in S'pore's history'. Print Edition | Subscribe